WHERE TO LIVE, IN AND AROUND BOSTON
Our agents are experts on all of the following communities. Each of these areas offers distinctive characteristics that attract its residents. We have provided a guide below to help you find the area that best suits your needs and lifestyle. If you have any questions about these communities, please contact Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty today and one of our knowledgeable agents can assist you.
Boston Real Estate:
Largely populated by students and young families, Allston caters to individuals looking for larger space at lower cost. Locals can be found brunching at Deep Ellum, making healthy choices at Whole Heart Provisions, and digging for thrifted treasures at Urban Renewals and Vivant Vintage. There are also plenty of venues to catch live music, plus a diverse mix of restaurants and coffee joints. Boston College, Boston University and Harvard University form a triangle around Allston, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a short drive away from the center of this trendy neighborhood. Allston is served by several bus lines, as well as the MBTA Green line.
Back Bay lays claim to some of the most exclusive real estate and coveted shopping destinations in Boston. Explore the haute couture to haute cuisine inside the Prudential Center and along Newbury Street, offering exclusive fashion boutiques and elegant restaurants with world-renowned chefs. Though Back Bay is one of the epicenters of Boston tourism, the crowds feel miles away on peaceful, tree-lined streets like Marlborough and Beacon. Commonwealth Avenue features some of the most elegant townhouses in the city, along with the pedestrian-friendly Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Back Bay is additionally home to the Charles River Esplanade and the historic Boston Public Library.
With its cobblestone streets and brick row houses, Beacon Hill is a favorite spot for residents who savor the finest examples of Federal and Greek Revival architecture in the city. The historic district is known for the charming boutiques, antique shops, and romantic restaurants lining Charles Street, as well as hidden gardens and perpetually-burning gas lights. Situated directly north of the Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden, this cozy enclave offers a rich community life, with neighbors meeting neighbors on the Hill’s commercial streets. The gold dome of the Massachusetts State House sparkles upon the city it oversees.
Sitting on the shores of the Charles River, Brighton offers a diverse mix of local family businesses and national chains of pharmacies and banks, along with an intricate network of homes and apartment buildings occupied by graduate students and young families and professionals. Residents praise the amenities of city life without the crowds of downtown Boston. Boston College and Harvard University have always made their presence known within the community, but it’s Boston Landing, a 15-acre mixed-use development filled with office space, retail shops, restaurants, and sports facilities for both the Bruins and Celtics, that is commanding attention.
Spend your weekends marveling centuries-old landmarks in this lively, centuries-old city neighborhood, boasting historic homes with period detail and Navy Yard luxury condominium living. Home to the USS Constitution, the Navy’s oldest commissioned ship, Charlestown’s waterfront perch plays a major role in its history. Picnic on Breed’s Hill beside the famous Bunker Hill Monument and enjoy chowder at the local tavern. The businesses of Boston are just a bridge away, while the neighborhood is also served by the Community College and Sullivan Square stops on the MBTA Orange Line. Our recommendation? The ferry to downtown from the Navy Yard.
Beloved by residents who praise its culinary scene and rich cultural history, Chinatown brims with historic buildings and authentic Asian shops and restaurants. Vibrant murals adorning Chinatown’s buildings tell the story of its colorful streets, framed by the Chinatown Gate. The nearby Theater District is home to dozens of performing arts venues. Several MBTA subway lines and regional commuter train and bus services provide convenient access to the neighborhood.
Filled with thriving families and active community organizations, Dorchester is Boston’s largest neighborhood, filled with friendly neighborhoods and bustling commercial districts. Find homes for every budget—from historic Victorians to multi-family homes to new construction condominiums. Try some of the best ethnic cuisines in Boston, visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, or bird watch at the Neponset River Reservation.
DOWNTOWN / MIDTOWN
Boasting some of Boston’s finest full-service buildings, Downtown and Midtown are defined by convenience and excitement, ideal for those who enjoy proximity to the office and having the best shopping and dining at their fingertips. Find a bench for a break between visits to historic monuments, and watch the street performers and passersby. Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market are among the city’s most-visited landmarks, abounding with kitschy shops and eateries.
Encompassing so much more than Logan International Airport, East Boston is popular among first-time buyers and young professionals. Beautiful green spaces like Piers Park afford the neighborhood a suburban feel, while Downtown Boston is only a three-minute subway ride away. East Boston features a unique mix of restaurants, arts and cultural amenities, outdoor activities, and outstanding views of the ocean and Boston skyline. Admire the wildlife at Belle Isle Marsh, or bask in the sun at Constitution Beach.
FENWAY / KENMORE
Most recognize this dense urban neighborhood as the home of Fenway Park and the Red Sox. It is also one of Boston’s academic and cultural hubs, filled with young professionals and college students who appreciate the lively nightlife scene along Lansdowne Street. The ballpark adds to the area’s vitality, serving as the venue for summer concerts and winter activities. Live in a historic brownstone or an amenity-rich mid-rise near critically-acclaimed restaurants and vibrant retail. With nearly a dozen colleges and universities and West Fenway’s Longwood Medical Area, the district has risen in popularity among students and young families. Not far from Kenmore Square, you will find the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and Symphony Hall, and preeminent green space.
Tucked between the South End, Downtown, South Boston and the Seaport is Fort Point, where historic factory conversions serve as a unique juxtaposition to the Seaport’s contemporary vibe. The former industrial neighborhood has been transformed into a luxury enclave of loft conversions that still maintain their original architectural details—high ceilings, exposed brick, and wooden beams. The neighborhood is a cultural and recreational corridor, anchored by the Boston Children’s Museum and scenic Harborwalk. What Fort Point and Seaport residents appreciate most is the proximity—the ability to reach major destinations like the Financial District, South Station, and Boston Harbor in a matter of minutes.
The rich diversity of “JP,” to which it is lovingly referred by residents, has created a strong sense of community among residents ranging from young families and professionals to artists and activists. Centre Street, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, counts an eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, and coffeehouses. Geographically blessed with a large portion of Boston’s Emerald Necklace parks, Jamaica Plain offers residents an abundance of parks and waterways. Rent rowboats, sailboats, and kayaks at the Jamaica Pond Boat House or enjoy a guided tour of the Arnold Arboretum.
Such communal spirit in the heart of a city is a rare find. The North End is one of the nation’s largest Italian-American commercial districts and one of Boston’s most coveted residential areas, brimming with some of Boston’s highest-rated restaurants and most famous historic sites. TD Garden and Boston’s celebrated Freedom Trail sites are just outside one’s doorstep, as well as the summer feasts and processions that honor the patron saints of Italy. Several recently built mid-rise buildings offer tremendous views of Boston Harbor, as well as proximity to downtown and the waterfront,
City dwellers who wish to escape the familiar urban landscape will thrive in Roxbury, one of Boston’s quietest neighborhoods boasting an exquisite array of architectural history. The neighborhood is filled with ethnic dining options, lush community gardens, and bustling green spaces like Malcolm X Park and Highland Park, notable for its landmark Victorian-era tower and weeping willow trees. In this thriving arts and music community, residents spend their weekends listening to jazz at Dudley Café, one of ZAGAT’s “Top 9 Hottest Coffee Shops in Boston,” and are nothing if not committed to preserving their neighborhood’s diverse history. With a dedicated community effort, Roxbury is embracing its status as a flourishing family-friendly neighborhood.
The Seaport District has transitioned into a bustling center of commerce full of luxury retailers and high-end dining and entertainment options, and a stunning selection of luxury condos and office buildings. Culture lovers are drawn by the world-class Institute of Contemporary Art and concerts at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, while convention-goers mingle at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. And offering a stunning backdrop to it all: expansive views of the Boston skyline.
One of the area’s oldest and most storied neighborhoods, South Boston has retained much of its character amidst a housing boom. Quaint rowhouses line the streets, and many of them are only a short distance from the city neighborhood’s waterfront playground. Miles of beaches and waterfront parks that culminate in Castle Island, a historic park surround on three sides by saltwater where visitors explore the Revolutionary War era fort, get a bite to eat at Sullivan’s, and fish off the pier. Beaches line Pleasure Bay and Old Harbor on Dorchester Bay. Countless bars and time-honored local hangouts line both West and East Broadway, attracting young professionals. The South Boston population perhaps best demonstrates its strong sense of community with its St. Patricks’ Day Parade, which has made its way down Broadway since 1901.
Brick rowhouses, trendy restaurants, and critically-acclaimed art galleries populate the South End’s tree-lined streets. Diners and critics alike rave about the outstanding South End restaurant scene. In fact, the entire neighborhood is dotted with culinary gems headlined by James Beard Award-winning chefs like Barbara Lynch at B&G Oysters and Coppa’s Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. Flowering parks enclosed with wrought-iron fencing pop up with frequency. Read a book underneath a tree at Franklin and Blackstone Squares or play a round of tennis at Peters Park. Or, check out the over twenty-five galleries in South End’s SoWa district.
Alongside the North End sits an exclusive collection of waterfront homes along Boston’s inner harbor, offering some of the most beautiful harbor views in the city. Amenity-rich high rises border renovated wharf buildings, where residents wake to the smell of fresh sea air and sounds of halyards knocking against the boats. The waters provide a seafood bounty for chefs, and the proof is on the plate at restaurants like Chart House and Rowes Wharf Sea Grille. Or, pick up fresh lobster from James Hook & Co. and enjoy a fresh daily catch in the comfort of your home.
The West End is a small but significant community tucked behind Beacon Hill. Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the premier medical centers in the United States, makes the West End a popular residential neighborhood for medical staff at nearby facilities, as well as for professionals who work Downtown. The TD Garden, New England’s largest sports and entertainment arena, anchors the area to the northeast, while other cultural and civic amenities include the Hatch Shell, West End Museum, and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.